FORMER Bulls striker Mike Symons netted a brace against his former side as Weston-Super-Mare sent Hereford to a fourth defeat of pre-season.

After four years with the Bulls and helping them to three league titles Symons signed an 18-month deal with Weston in December.

His physical presence was the difference as he netted either side of half-time during the 2-0 victory for his new side.

Weston-Super-Mare play in tier three of the non-league pyramid and it was their final pre-season test before the season gets underway for them next weekend.

"It was a great pre-season friendly and Weston start (league action) next week," said Hereford manager Josh Gowling.

"It's good minutes for the boys and it's a good litmus test I suppose of what to expect. "You play against the TNS off this world and they play nice football but that's not the football we're going to play when the season starts.

"Weston are a big and physical side who have got some lads from Hereford last year and it was a good test."

An injury-hit Hereford had no strikers in their squad on the trip to play the Seagulls.

And it was Bulls defender Jamie Grimes who had the opening chance after a corner was flicked on, but he blazed his effort well wide. Hereford hit again on 15 minutes with a quick break which unleashed a trialist who dragged his effort from an angle just wide.

Symons gave Weston a 31st minute lead flicking the ball home after Ryan Jones had worked his way in from the wing.

Chris Knowles had a chance to double Weston's lead but goalkeeper Paul White was equal to his headed effort.

Moments before the break a quickly taken free-kick saw the Bulls come close with a speculative effort.

However, Symons doubled Weston's lead on 59 minutes linking up with a Nick McCootie cross before jinking to get the ball out of his feet and slotting home.

Hereford failed to threaten the Weston goal and despite matching their hosts elsewhere on the pitch struggled in the final third.

"We need some strikers for a start," added Gowling.

"We have got trialists in and you want them to send a message that they want to be here and I don't really think they did that as well as they could.

"I think Jarrod (Hodgkiss) was excellent but when we're looking at the way we are going to play and out-balls we haven't really got anyone up top so it's always difficult.

"We played two centre midfielders up top so that doesn't help obviously. When you look at the team we've got six players out injured so that doesn't really help.

"The majority of the lads (injured) will be back on Monday training. The reason we've not put them in is because a niggle turns into a tear which turns into two or three months out.

"With our budget and the way we've got to be with it is make sure we really look after the players.

"The good thing about the squad at the moment is that all the lads know each other and the lads we've brought in have all got a connection."